Coca-Cola pledges to support pubs in its 'Open Like Never Before' push

By Emily Hawkins

- Last updated on GMT

Open to change: Coca-Cola's new marketing campaign looks at the opportunity for positive change from the pandemic and will support the pub sector's recovery
Open to change: Coca-Cola's new marketing campaign looks at the opportunity for positive change from the pandemic and will support the pub sector's recovery

Related tags Drinks Coca-cola Branding + marketing

Coca-Cola Great Britain has launched a new campaign, Open Like Never Before, which focuses on the social changes that have occurred during the coronavirus pandemic, encouraging people to find opportunity in the ‘new normal’.

Spoken word artist George The Poet has written a poem for the campaign on the sentiment of being open to the idea of change, which will be the focus of a new television advert. The poem also features across a digital marketing campaign which will be made available to pubs and bars.

The campaign intends to focus support on out-of-home venues such as pubs and bars, when it officially begins on Saturday 1 August. It will carry on into next year and marks a return to broadcast for the drinks giant, which has said it went silent for seven months in a bid to focus on charitable avenues.

Coca-Cola will donate a media budget and advertising space to venues so they can advertise that they are back open for business to their local punters. Its hospitality venue support programme will also provide hundreds of sites with a set of resources and guidance to help them create their own adverts for social media

Moving forward

During the lockdown period, the drinks maker donated more than 1.5m drinks to front line workers and worked with food redistribution charity FareShare to provide meals to those in need in the UK.

Kris Robbens, marketing director for Coca-Cola Great Britain and Ireland said: “This year, Coca-Cola was off air for the longest time in history as we redirected our support to relief efforts. The Open Like Never Before campaign is founded on the belief that we don’t just have to go back to normal following this huge change in everyone’s lives. Instead, it’s our ambition to move forward and make the world not just different, but a better, more open place.

“Most importantly, we’re using our platform to support and celebrate our customers and partners, many of whom are reopening their doors to communities after a very challenging time for the industry.”

Customer communication

Coca-Cola European Partners’ (CCEP) vice president for GB sales Rob Harris told The Morning Advertiser​ of the brand’s plans to support pubs in their post-shutdown recovery.​ Measures include free stock for outlets, bigger wholesale offers, as well as operational support for post-mix and freestyle equipment.

Harris said: “From the beginning of lockdown and throughout phase one, our focus was on communicating with customers, as every one of them has experienced this crisis in a different way and we’ve been supporting as many as we can. There wasn’t a one-size-fits-all for any of this, help was bespoke to each customer.”

It has also created a Community Pub Fund of £165,000 to be shared between this year’s 15 Great British Pub Awards (GBPA) Pub Heroes winners to say thank you for supporting communities during the pandemic.

Moment of reflection

George The Poet said the message of the campaign was one he resonated with personally.

He added: “Covid-19 gave me a moment to reflect at a time when the world came to a standstill, made me more patient and adapt to different ways of working. Going forward I’m going to do what I can to seize the moment and be open to change like never before”.

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